I remember thinking as I sat in the bathtub a couple nights ago of when I used to sit in the bathtub in a tiny, dark apartment I had in North Beach just before I moved to the Filbert Steps. I only lived there for six months but it seems that a lot happened there. I remember my life was kind of messy and unformed at that time. I had just moved back from my sentence in Minnesota, was reconnecting with friends, and having weird sexual liaisons. Although I thought I was being kind of stupid about some things, and even reckless, I didn’t judge myself the way I am judging myself now.
I saw myself as evolving, and that was a key difference. I seem to have an expectation that because of my age, I should have certain aspects of my emotional and psychological life solidified. This concept persists even though I still allow myself to be a beginner at many things, almost incessantly, almost pathologically. It’s an interesting dichotomy that I allow myself so much leeway in learning new skills in the external world, but not in learning new skills in my internal world.
I guess that’s partly due to this current change being so painful, and somehow painful changes devolve into self-blame and criticism.
Clearly the part of me that loves exploring the world, learning new things and seeing life as an adventure is the same part that takes emotional risks. It’s just that emotional risks can have a bigger fallout and that can lead to self-recrimination.
It doesn’t have to. I’m trying to see this as an evolution or at least a metamorphosis. It might not feel so great when a caterpillar becomes chrysalis soup. There may a be a fragment of thought of “Oh great, what the hell was a thinking. Now I’m a goddamn liquid.”
Yep, now I’m a goddamn liquid.